Do I need a schengen visa to visit France

Do I need a Schengen visa to visit France? This is a common question many people ask due to the confusion regarding visa eligibility, especially those with more than one nationality or relatives who are French citizens. In this post, we will answer these complicated questions and provide instances where a visa may or may not be needed for France. Keep reading to learn more.

Do I Need A Schengen Visa To Visit France?

You will need A Schengen Visa To Visit France for the following reasons.

If You Are Not An EU Citizen & Not From A Visa Exempt Country

If you are not an EU citizen or you are not from a visa exempt country, you will need a visa to enter France or any country in the Schengen Area. Travelers who are citizens of some second or third world countries must obtain this visa before embarking on the trip, as the visa is not issued at the French airport.

If You Will Be Staying For 90 Days Or Less

If you are not an EU citizen or from a visa-exempt country, you will need this visa and plan to stay in France for 90 days or less. Visitors who plan to stay much longer must apply for a long term visa like a French national visa, not a Schengen visa.

You don’t need a Schengen visa if

You Are An EU Citizen

If you are an EU citizen, you don’t need a Schengen visa to enter France or any Schengen country, for that matter. Schengen visas are only for outsiders. You may have an EU passport or even be a dual citizen, but as long as one of your countries is European and you have a passport to prove it, you don’t need a visa to enter France.

You Are From A Visa Exempt Country

Persons from visa exempt countries outside Europe don’t also need visas to visit the country. Instead of Schengen visas, what they need is an ETIAS visa Waiver which is valid for three years and allows them to visit and stay in France for 90 days within 180 days. 

There are roughly 63 countries on this list, and their citizens can visit France without visas.

When Should You Apply For A Schengen Visa?

You should apply for your visa several weeks in advance because a visa interview may be required, which takes time. The European Commission states that visa processing takes about 15 calendar days, but this is only after the embassy has received your application. So we advise you to apply for the visa at least 30-60 days before your trip to give the process enough time for completion.

Where To Apply For A Schengen Visa To France?

Persons who need visas to travel to France must submit their applications to the French embassies in their countries or the consulates. They must schedule an interview with the embassy to do this, but this is not always possible in person because many embassies work through licensed visa application agents. They are advised to find out the visa application procedure of the embassy and follow suit to submit their application.

The embassy will issue an interview date which they must honor. They must come with all their documents and signed and completed visa application forms. A visa fee must also be paid with the receipt added to the set of documents for reference purposes.

Documents The Embassy Will Request

The French embassy will request the following documents

  • Completed visa application form

  • Valid passport

  • Cover letter

  • Two passport-sized photographs that meet Schengen standards

  • Proof of financial means

  • Travel health insurance

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Copies of previous Schengen visas, if any

  • Invitation letter, if applicable

  • Civil status certificate

  • Visa fee receipt

Additional documents may be demanded by the embassy, depending on your situation, but the ones listed above are the basic documents.

Types of Schengen Visas For France

Here are the types of visas you can apply for

  • Transit Visa

  • Airport Transit Visa

  • Tourist Visa

  • Medical Visa

  • Study Visa

  • Business Visa

  • Cultural Exchange Visa

  • Visitor Visa

  • Official Visa

These visas command the same application fee and validity but are issued for different purposes, as you can see.

When filling out the application form, you must indicate the visa type you want and explain why you wish to visit France in the cover letter. Other vital details to be included in the letter are the arrival and departure date, places of interest, etc. Also, note that the cover letter must be signed; otherwise, it will not be considered valid.

Do I need a Schengen visa to visit France? It will depend on your nationality; you will need a visa if you are not from a visa exempt country.

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.